Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

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Kagan Village Project - Updates

Click on the post titles below to see more details on what's happening with the Kagan Village Project.
See the project page for the backstory of this person-to-person generosity project between members and friends of Red Cedar Zen Community and people in Kagan Village, Homa Bay County, Western Kenya.

  • Friday, December 30, 2016 8:41 AM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    December 29th from Mercy:

    How are you and the Kagan Village  project team?

    Just an update on the Kagan Village project! It is very dry in Kagan village,there is no  rain as per the expectation that it would rain in December.This is a clear indication of famine next year.However ,Wellington and some villagers are trying to make good use of the water that is still there in the river to water their vegetables using the pumb you and your friends bought. They have hopes they would at least get something out if it. The villagers do not have much for repairs and maintainannce but they do plegde something when the proceeds are realized.

    The farmers around are glad that they do a have a pump around that they can access easily without paying. The vegetables are doing well and I believe if all goes well the proceeds will be huge.

    Thanks and please find the attached photos of other young farmers watering their plantation.

    it us very dry for these tomatoes and kales to grow to this extent its because they are being watered regularly.

    It might look small but you as you can see some leaves of the kales are already being plucked and are used for domestic used.Wellington says he sold  some kales last week for Ksh 2150.This to me is a good start and I hope there will be better proceeds.



    Neighbors of the Ukumu family using the pump 

    Baby kale plants

    Tomatoes are an important cash crop. Note the dark earth below the plants from watering them.

    Kale under shade cloth - note dark earth from watering.

    Mercy's brothers Wellington, Thomas, and Brien working in the fields.

  • Wednesday, November 02, 2016 2:47 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    I just deposited today and amazing amount of generous donations from the 48 participants in the week-long "Roots of Mindfulness" retreat I led a few weeks ago at Samish Island.

    I told the story of Mercy and the Red Cedar Zen project to help her family and others in Kagan in one of my daily talks. 

    And the response was amazing. I just deposited $1613!

    Thank you for your generosity!

  • Saturday, October 29, 2016 2:45 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    October 29, 2016  Email from Doneter Akumu to Tim

    (note: previously we had Mercy's younger sister's name as Donneta or Donnetta, but she spells it Doneter. Must be some fluidity to how Luo names are spelled phonetically).

    Dear Tim,

    Greetings!How is your family doing?

    It was  a wonderful moment when we hosted the most good and kind hearted person in the world who has made a great positive impact in our family!I miss that day!For the record you were the first ''Mzungu'' to step foot in our home,we were really honored. 

    I must say thank you for educating Mercy who has shown us how education  and  perseverance in life is important for a better future.I am trying my best to follow her foot steps.

    Thank you for the 1030 dollars you sent to Mercy for my college fees.This is a dream come true!As you already know Mercy wanted to take me to college this year but she could not make it  because Brian and Titus are fully depending on her.So I had to wait at home praying day and night that somehow I will get to college someday.You and your colleagues/church mates or friends  are God sent.I believe it is a great sacrifice and I promise never to disappoint you.I am now certain that I will join Kenyatta University next year January.

    Thank you all and may the God you serve shower you and  your friends  with his endless blessings.For the lady who promised that she will ensure that I will go through my University Education with or without the success of the fundraising,I say thank you and may God bless her.

    Thanks  you again and again.

    You can contact me through 0703128861.

    Yours sincerrely,

    Doneter Akumu.

  • Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:45 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    The successful unpacking, setup and testing of the pump in the family fields in Kagan Village. Remember that there is no modern infrastructure to be seen otherwise in these fields. An exciting day.

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016 2:44 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    24/10/2016 (October 24, 2016)

    Dear Tim,

    It was wonderful and honourable to have hosted the most warm hearted person, whose efforts and gifts of made a great impact on our family.

    On behalf of our family and my self, kindly may I register my sincere appreciation to all you have done to my niece Mercy. Who indeed has become a role model to our children and siblings, all who are now emulating her achievements. Mercy have showed that hard work and discipline pays. This is made possible thro' your personal financial input and compassionate moral concern.

    We are glad that thro' Mercy's Mentorship we have three ladies and two sons who are in university and Donater is soon joining. This is a feat we had not dreamed of due to poverty and numerous calamities that had befallen us, hence your gestures were timely and God sent, this will go a long way to change the family status.

    In Mercy your spiritual vision and aspiration will be actualized and to as your effort have shown a brighter light in a previously dark tunnel where the future was lassed (?) with hopelesness.

    Moreso your extra effort to send us a pump for the planned irrigation project is highly and cordially appreciated, kindly pass our gratitude to all your associates who made it possible. It has shown a true manifestation of a true human original heart as per God intended, interpersonal co-existence to make this world a better place to live in.

    All in all, during your July visit you met my expectant wife Emma. Thank God she has given birth to a bouncing baby boy named "Tim Burnett Ridley Cobindah" in your honour. In time see the day we are seeing Tim Senior. He is now 2 1/2 months.

    May the gracious God you serve bless you abundantly and give you long life to see the fruits of your generosities to your fellow Mankind.

    Pass our humble appreciations to your family and associates, we will surely make (?) as productive as far as our might may accord. Even tho' the road has some sloppy and thorny ridges.

    Be blessed,

    Charlton Bunde
    (Uncle to Mercy)

    Read the original hand-written letter is here:
    2016-10-26 Letter from Uncle Charleton.pdf

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016 2:43 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)


    How are you?

    Yes Wellington and Uncle Charlton came to Nairobi to buy the pump. [Note from Tim: that requires a full day on the bus each way.]

    Please find the attached receipts and financial summary.Uncle Charlton also sent you a letter just below the letter there is the third receipt worth 9000.

     I will send you a photo of the pump \ soon. 

    Thanks and much love,


    2016-10-26 pipe receipt.pdf

    2016-10-26 Pump receipt.pdf

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016 2:43 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)


    Thank you for using the Western Union Money Transfer® service. 

    Your money transfer has been picked up by the receiver. Following is a summary of your transaction.




    Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN): 


    Date of Order:


    Amount Sent:


    Receiver Name:



    Picked Up

    Exchange rate* 1 USD = 96.1589 KES
    Local currency pay out = 196164.36 KES

  • Wednesday, October 05, 2016 2:42 PM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    October 5, 2016 - from Tim to Mercy Ukumu:

    So yes the great news is that we have raised already through "The Kagan Village Project" (do you like the name?) US $1030 towards education which is all designated towards Donnetta and US $1010 towards agriculture which is all designated towards Wellington's pump project. I will send the funds by Western Union. 

    How shall we track expenses and disbursements? What do you suggest as the in-country coordinator of the Kagan Village Project. Now you have a new job!

    much love, Tim

    October 5, 2106 - reply from Mercy to Tim:

    The name Kagan Village project is a wonderful name,I am so happy that Donneta is going to school after waiting at home for two good years now.She was very happy when she heard the news.Wellington and uncle Charlton are also very happy.

    I am very ready and willing to manage the funds, through this I can also be in a position to teach Wellington on how a project should be managed.It will also be easy for me to have receipts and send them to you and at least track the progress of the activities and keep you posted being that Wellington is not so good with computers.I will also try once in a while to train him on the same.I will pay for Donnetas fee when she has applied and gain admission to the university!I wish I knew she could have joined though late, the September intake.But all in all I am the luckiest human being on earth to receive such a support.It really came at the right time.

    Thanks so much.God bless you all.

    I welcome the new job.Thank you for the opportunity.

    Much Love,

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